As Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee, Sinema led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Yuma so her Senate colleagues could witness the border security and humanitarian crisis facing Arizona communities
YUMA – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee, led a bipartisan delegation of U.S. Senators to Yuma to see firsthand the border security and humanitarian crisis facing Arizona’s border communities.
The U.S. Senators participating in Sinema’s Congressional delegation to Yuma include John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
“I’m grateful to bring a bipartisan group of my colleagues to Yuma to see firsthand the security and humanitarian crisis facing border communities. Our tour helped increase understanding of the complex challenges at our border as we work to identify responsible and realistic solutions to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee and leader of the bipartisan delegation.
The Senators started their tour with a briefing from the Arizona National Guard. The Arizona National Guard has previously been asked to take on missions related to the increased migration – and despite the strong support the Arizona National Guard provides border communities, these missions have detracted the Guard from its primary combat and warfighter mission.
Following the Arizona National Guard briefing, the Senators received a briefing from the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Yuma Sector and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Office of Field Operations to learn how the recent changes in migration have impacted local USBP and CBP Office of Field Operations personnel and their ability to meet their security missions throughout the region.
The Senators later toured the Yuma Sector Soft-Sided Processing Facility. Once a migrant is encountered in the Yuma Sector and taken into USBP custody, they will arrive at the USBP Soft-Side facility for processing. After touring the Yuma Sector Soft-Sided Processing Facility, the Senators visited the Morelos Dam to see firsthand the physical border to better understand the security challenges that USBP faces in the Yuma Sector.
The Senators concluded their tour with a roundtable with local Arizona leaders and the Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH). In this roundtable, the Senators discussed the crisis in Yuma and its strain on local governments and the RCBH, which is the only non-governmental organization operating inside Yuma County that is responding to the migrant releases from CBP custody.
The Sinema-led Congressional delegation tour of the Yuma border follows the Senators’ tour of the border in El Paso, Texas to see the security and humanitarian crisis on another part of the Southwest border.
At the end of last year, Sinema partnered with Republican Senator Thom Tillis on a bipartisan proposal to fuel investments in Border Patrol Agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Officers; reassert control of the border through increased enforcement, technology, resources, and more; modernize the asylum system; reform the employment visa system to ensure our nation’s global competitiveness; and establish a pathway for legal citizenship for roughly 2 million Dreamers who were brought to this country when they were children through no fault of their own.
In a December Senate floor speech about her bipartisan proposal, Sinema vowed to continue her work finding a path forward on a comprehensive plan to secure the border and ensure the humane treatment of migrants in the new year by bringing a group of committed Senators to the Southwest border.
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